Friday, after the United States failed to use its veto power to stop a strongly anti-Israel resolution from passing in the United Nations, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered a simple solution–pull funding.
Graham told CNN that he would introduce measures to pull funding from the U.N. until they reversed the resolution, and Cruz expanded on that thought in an official statement:
“For eight long years, the Obama administration has worked systematically to undermine the nation of Israel. They actively worked to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu, and illegally used U.S. taxpayer funds to do so. Never has there been a more anti-Israel Administration, and today’s United Nations vote is the culmination of their systemic agenda to weaken Israel and strengthen its enemies.
I agree with the senior Israeli government official who said today:
‘President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN….The U.S. administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts.’
Every Obama foreign policy official should be ashamed of today’s UN resolution, and any official who disagrees with or hopes to avoid the anti-Israel legacy of this Administration should resign on principle today.
I also emphatically second the call of my colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham that the consequences of this disgraceful UN resolution should be severe. I look forward to working with Sen. Graham, and with the incoming Administration of President-elect Trump, to significantly reduce or even eliminate U.S. funding of the United Nations, and also to seriously reconsider financial support for the nations that supported this resolution. For those who have put your name to this despicable attack on Israel, you did so with full knowledge of the consequences of your actions.
And for those who acquiesced or facilitated the UN resolution–especially President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Ambassador Power–history will record your abiding and shameful legacy undermining our friend and ally Israel. I am hopeful at least some Senate Democrats will choose to repudiate your anti-Israel actions, and I am grateful that the new Administration has committed to once again restoring our strong and unequivocal support for the Nation of Israel.”
The United States currently provides more money to the United Nations than any other member-country. According to Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner: “The U.N. regular budget is $2.7 billion for its New York and other headquarters, and Americans cover 22 percent of that, $594 million, bringing the U.S. tab in 2016 to $2.9 billion…or more than the the whole United Nations administrative budget.”
According to Brett Schaefer of The Heritage Foundation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report from fiscal year 2010 found that total U.S. contributions to the U.N. “exceeded $7.691 billion–more than $1.3 billion higher than FY 2009’s record of $6.347 billion.”
The United States is in the position of power in this situation. If the U.S. were to pull even half of its funding from the U.N., it would cause significant financial trauma to the organization. The threat of such financial trauma could (and should) be used as leverage in order to get the U.N. to reverse its resolution.